French-Canadian Guy Laliberte is all set to be the first clown in space.
The man who founded the Cirque du Soleil blasts off on board a Soyuz space rocket from Kazakstan today. Together with two other cosmonauts he will travel to the International Space Station. For Laliberte the mission is a dream come true. He is known worldwide for his innovative circus shows and says he is taking nine red clown noses into orbit so he can include the crew of the ISS in a unique performance to be webcast on October 9. On the serious side he says he also hopes to use his trip to raise awareness of water-borne illnesses which kill thousands of children and are linked to worldwide water shortages.